The Union Government is set to present the Budget 2018 on February 1 and all the stakeholders have huge expectations. As per the current state of Higher Education in India, the Institutions look toward the Union Budget 2018 with much hope. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Director General, World University of Design shared some of the expectations that the Indian Education sector has from the Finance Ministry for Budget 2018-19.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta said, “We expect the upcoming budget will introduce measures to encourage more Indian Universities to make it to the global ranking list. In order to make our universities world class and emerge as centers of excellence, Indian institutions need to focus on Educating the Educator.”
Faculty members in existing HEIs need to upgrade their qualifications. If they can be encouraged to take up enrolment in Master/ Doctoral programmes, while on the job, many purposes will be served including more qualified faculty, improved quality, more research output and more publications. For encouragement, multiple benefits in terms of tax-relief, student loan eligibility, and longer duration pay-back would provide the right impetus.
To improve ranking in the near future, Indian institutions need to focus on ‘Internationalisation’ with utmost priority.
Over the past few years, the Ministry of Human Development Resources (MHRD) and the University Grants Commission (UGC) have on several occasions considered hiring foreign faculty for India’s universities on a short-term and/or contractual basis. Under the Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN), professors from abroad are already being invited to India’s universities for short stints.
Dr. Gupta further said, “We observe that most of our higher education institutions have traditionally been teaching-oriented. While overall academic standards – including teaching – may have declined substantially over the past three decades or so due to diverse reasons, teaching is still the focus and strength of our universities. India’s universities still produce good or good-enough teachers.”
Research has never been a strong point of our universities. In order to build the research capabilities of our universities and bring in innovation, it may be quite useful to hire foreign faculty. The benefits of hiring foreign faculty lie only with those institutions which the government is seeking to promote as heavyweight competitors in world university rankings or ambitious private institutions which have the same goal. We need to ease Foreign Faculty hiring as it is one of the factors that pull-down ranking of Indian Universities. Foreign faculty hiring norms in terms of duration and minimum wages are restrictive and clearance cumbersome. To help Indian institutions employ global faculty to augment the institutional performance, a little ease on both fronts will give the required push to the presence of foreign faculty and consequently to foreign students on campus.
“Quality education is a must for a complete and successful life. For many, it is equivalent to graduating from a top institution. The cost of education is, however, increasing rapidly. In fact, the cost of studying at reputed institutions is already quite high. An education loan, therefore, plays a vital role in such a scenario by helping to bridge the gap between the shortfall and the required amount. Therefore, we need to increase the duration of education loan deduction from 8 to 15 years,” Dr. Gupta stressed.